Candidates headed for runoff in District 4

Published 1:54 pm Friday, March 16, 2012

Allin Whittle and Robert Blankenship have more work to do.

Whittle and Blankenship are headed for a runoff after defeating incumbent Jimmy Crum in the Democratic primary for the District 4 seat on the Butler County Commission.

Whittle garnered 329 votes or 47.82 percent of the vote, while Blankenship received 232 votes or 33.72 percent of the vote. With neither candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the vote, the two will face off in a runoff election on April 24.

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Crum, who has represented District 4 for 16 years, received 127 votes.

“I’m truly humbled by the large number of votes I received,” Whittle said. “I’m really blessed by the support I received. I’m really grateful to all the people who came out and voted, and especially those who voted for me.”

As Whittle inched closer to victory, Blankenship said he remained confident that he would be in the runoff for the seat.

“I’ve got confidence in God,” he said. “I never felt that (there wouldn’t be a runoff). I’m confident enough in my abilities and my supporters.”

With the nomination still to be decided, both candidates said they will be out campaigning in the district in an effort to pick up more votes.

“We’ve got some more work to do,” Whittle said.

Blankenship said: “I have to make sure that all of the voters get out and voice their opinion. … I have to get the voters back out, and typically that’s difficult to do in a runoff.”

While campaigning, Whittle said his top priority will be helping bring jobs to the county.

“I see a real need for jobs in Butler County,” he said. “We need good paying jobs, and I want to work with the commission to help bring those jobs to Butler County.”

Whittle, who serves as assistant superintendent for the Butler County Board of Education, said his experience in the school system would be an asset when recruiting businesses.

“I have quite a bit of experience in recruiting,” he said. “Recruiting teachers and businesses are similar. Both want to know what Butler County has to offer them.”

Whittle cited his numerous relationships across the state as another recruiting asset.

If elected, Blankenship said education will be one of his top priorities.

“Educating our youth will increase their earning power, which will be an asset to our community,” he said. “If I’m elected to the commission I will seek ways to find more funding for the schools. I’ll seek out the appropriate channels and find out how those funds are made available to school and get involved in writing grants if that’s what it takes.”

Along with helping find increased funding for the school system, Blankenship said he would work to bring more jobs to the county.